The Week That Was: Holden’s Future Plans, Renault Clio GT, Vale Harry Firth Photo:

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Trevor Collett | May, 04 2014 | 0 Comments

Holden aimed to shore up its future in Australia this week, holding a media event which outlined a series of new (but familiar) models.

Coming to a dealer near you in 2015 will be the Cascada convertible, Astra VRX, Astra GTC and the Insignia VXR; all Opel-sourced models, some of which will be returning following Opel’s departure from the local market last year.

The future of Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground was also assured for at least some time beyond 2017, and it looks like Cruze production will survive through at least one more update.

Staying with Holden, the carmaker gave both of its locally-built models some finer attention this week as the end of the financial year approaches.

The Commodore SV6 and SS are now available in ‘Storm’ spec for a limited time, which adds new 18-inch alloys, up-spec chrome trim and Storm badging.

The Cruze CDX and SRi-V have both been replaced with the Z-Series and SRi Z-Series respectively, offering a few extra features and sharp drive-away pricing.

Renault’s Clio GT is now on sale in Australia, priced from $25,290 plus on-roads.

The GT is powered by the same 88kW/190Nm 1.2 litre turbo-petrol engine offered elsewhere in the Clio range, but also gets a Renault Sport-tuned chassis, 17-inch wheels and a sports body kit.

Inside, the GT comes with a leather sports steering wheel, gearshift paddles and sports seats, while the dash gets grey trim highlights and a speckled finish.

In other news, Suzuki announced it has overcome recent local supply woes, and is aiming to regain market share here.

The Federal Government added $40 million to the car industry growth fund this week, while new Luxury Car Tax (LCT) laws also came into effect.

Ford announced that its farewell to the Ford Performance Vehicles brand, the GT F, is close to sold out. At least one dealer said that all of the manual-optioned GT Fs are already spoken for.

Trident released its Iceni diesel-powered sports car this week, with a 0-100km/h time of 3.7 seconds yet a theoretical range of up to 3200km from one tank – check it out.

The week began with the death of Australian motorsport legend Harry Firth, who died in care near his Victorian home, aged 96.

Skoda is believed to be in the final stages of development for a new SUV called the Snowman, and a DesignRM-imagined rendering gave us a taste of how it might look.

Elio Motors announced it has already logged 15,000 pre-orders for its US$6800, 2.8 l/100km eco-trike.

Land Rover confirmed production of its Defender off-roader will end in 2015, with rumours circulating that some less popular models have already been discontinued.

In an unofficial ‘battle of the autonomous driving big-guns’, both Google and Volvo announced satisfying results from inner-city testing of their respective autonomous vehicle programs this week.

Toyota showcased its Free Piston Engine Linear Generator, as it looks to redesign the internal combustion engine specifically to produce electricity.



What better way to test the wares of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV than with our long-term test. Check out our progress report, including two long-distance hauls.

In case you missed it earlier, the 2014 Renault Clio GT is now on sale in Australia, and we found the French hatch offered cool styling and great handling for $25,290 plus on-roads.

The 2014 Skoda Octavia Elegance 110TDI DSG Sedan is a mid-sizer with stellar functionality, a big boot and high levels of standard equipment. Check out our review.

Finally, we found the 2014 Kia Soul Si Manual is the missing link between small cars and SUVs, and a decent machine to boot.

And that’s… the week that was.

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